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'Lush' Broadway-Style Musical South Pacific Opens Tonight at Murray State

Murray State University's Department of Music and Theatre offer a big Broadway musical-live orchestra production of Rodgers and Hammerstein's "South Pacific" tonight, tomorrow and Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday at 2:30 p.m. On Sounds Good, Kate Lochte met with the Department of Music's Randy Black and Todd Hill and Theatre's Chair David Balthrop to learn more abut the vocal and orchestral performances and putting the production together.

Musicals at Murray State are typically selected on rotation: a small show one year, a larger show another year. This year, it happens to be a larger production: with a cast of music majors playing the leads and a large orchestra.

South Pacific is a lush, large Broadway show, based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning book Tales of the South Pacific. It premiered in 1949 and was an instant hit. The main character is an American nurse stationed in the South Pacific during WWII who falls in love with a French ex-pat plantation owner who struggles to accept his children of mixed-race. Famous songs include "Bali Ha'i," "Some Enchanted Evening," and "I'm in Love With a Wonderful Guy," to name a few.

With elements of comedy, the subject matter covers the topics of race, gender roles and war. The Broadway production won ten Tony Awards, including Best Muscial, Best Score and Best Libretto.

Murray State University Department of Theatre Chair David Balthrop, Professor of Music Randy Black and Associate Professor of Music Todd Hill, their cast and orhcestra members open "South Pacific" tonight at 7:30 in Robert E. Johnson Theatre near 15th and Olive. The show runs this weekend, with 7:30 performances, and a matinee on Sunday at 2:30. Reserve tickets at 270-809-4421 or online at

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Matt Markgraf joined the WKMS team as a student in January 2007. He's served in a variety of roles over the years: as News Director March 2016-September 2019 and previously as the New Media & Promotions Coordinator beginning in 2011. Prior to that, he was a graduate and undergraduate assistant. He is currently the host of the international music show Imported on Sunday nights at 10 p.m.
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